Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Themed Improvement Party

We had our first improvement party tonight.  We decided at the beginning of the month to all pick something to improve on and then we would have a party to celebrate our hard work.  We let each boy choose what they wanted to work on and I was really pleased with what they chose and the hard work they put into improving.  Mike and I also chose something to work on and all of us spent time during the month trying to do better.  We all took some time today to think of a way to demonstrate our improvements and presented them to each other.

Will chose improving on his handwriting.  It was a good goal for him to choose because honestly, his handwriting is pretty bad and has always been that way.  He worked hard at school to write slowly and nicely (one of the mom's that helps put Thursday Folders together each week mentioned that she had noticed his handwriting improving!).  He also wrote a letter and wrote entries in his journal and practiced writing on some manuscript laminated pages we have.  He still has a ways to go but there has been some definite improvement!  Will wrote a paragraph (about how awesome I am!) in his best writing and presented it to us at our improvement party.

Isaac chose reading as his goal.  Isaac is not what I'd call a bad reader.  He's always been right about where he should be for his age.  He does not have Will's natural ability to take to reading but I also really haven't done a lot of work with Isaac on reading.  With that said, I've never been concerned with is reading because he's always been making progress.  He decided though that he wanted to improve in reading and just in one month has has taken off.  For school, his teacher requires 20 minutes of reading each day but said that until January the kids only need to read for half of that time and the parent can read the remaining 10 minutes to them.  Isaac decided that he wanted to read all 20  minutes to us to improve on his reading and it has made all the difference.  I love to see his excitement and satisfaction when he reads a book by himself.  To demonstrate his improvement, he chose a book to read to us.

I was most surprised by Eli's choice.  He decided, completely on his own, that he wanted to play more and watch less "shows."  This is a  hard one for both Eli and me because Eli is home with just me for most of the day and often it is easier to let him watch a show (while I take a shower or after lunch, etc.).  But, he decided that he was watching too many shows and should play more.  I've been so impressed with him!  He will watch something and then turn it off on his own accord and go play outside or in the basement.  I've tried hard to find activities to fill his time as well by arranging play dates, going to the park, etc.  He also plays better in the backyard if I am there with him so I've tried to stop what I'm doing and go with him outside while he plays.  He's done a great job playing more and watching less "shows"!  For his demonstration he drew a picture of all the different ways he's played in the last month:  He drew a trampoline, a hot tub lined with sticks (he collects all the sticks in the yard and stands on the hot tub and then pretends the sticks are his weapons).  He also drew some toys and some zombies eating brains...he has quite an imagination.

For Mike's improvement he chose cheese making.  He has made various cheeses this month and has had some failures and some successes.  His last cheese was really good--a Gouda.  He bought some books on cheesemaking, makes a different cheese every other Saturday, and joined a cheese forum (yes, you read that correctly--a cheese forum).  The cheese forum has helped give him a lot of good advice on how to improve his cheeses and it is a hobby and skill he is really enjoying.  He brought up one of his cheeses to show us all for his demonstration.

I don't have a picture because my goal doesn't really have anything to demonstrate.  I chose to read my scriptures earlier in the day so that I'm not reading them right before bed when I'm completely exhausted.  I still need a bit of work in that area but have made some improvement.  I think it should help my scripture study immensely if I can make it a habit so that I'm more alert and aware of what I'm reading.  I just told the boys what I'd read and why I chose that particular goal.

After each boy presented their various improvements Mike and I presented them each with a certificate.

For the fun part of our party we had a Halloween themed meal, and watched a Shrek Halloween movie.  I had hoped to also have a Halloween game or two but ran out of time.  The only thing the boys thought would make our party cooler was if we had invited friends over to celebrate with us.  I explained that if our friends came over I'd have to clean up for them--maybe I should choose housekeeping as my improvement for our next party....

Mike made homemade rootbeer and the boys loved the dry ice

Our fun meal

Zombie teeth

Dragon Eyes


and for dessert, a Frankenstein ice cream cake
We are definitely going to have another improvement party!  I think it was a fun way for all of us to be motivated to improve in various areas by having a promise of a party to celebrate our hard work.


Nancy Teusch said...

This is so awesome, Adrianne! And ambitious. At least to me. I have vague ideas to do things like this, but never pull them off. Thanks for sharing!

Gillian Mohlman said...

This is the cutest idea ever. You guys are the best parents! I definitely want to do this in my little family. :)

LanceandNance said...

You are the coolest mom ever!

Lokodi said...

You put us all to shame girl! That's a pretty amazing activity and idea. Way to go!


Aaron and Lisa said...

What a great idea! We should try something like this at our house. thanks for posting it!

The Duke said...

That is the coolest post ever! I loved the idea, the kids' participation and the food is clever as ever! I'm so impressed. Your boys are lucky to have you as parents.

Zach and Nikki said...

What a great idea! We'll have to try it in our own family!

Michelle said...

Great party. I love everything you did. Glad everyone met their goals.